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Bengaluru v NorthEast United

ISL 2019-20: Carles Cuadrat happy with debutants in Bengaluru's goalless draw

19:06 SAST 2019/10/21
Bengaluru vs NorthEast United
The Blues boss was happy to salvage a point under difficult circumstances against NorthEast United FC…

Bengaluru FC started their title defence with a goalless draw against a gritty NorthEast United FC at Kanteerava Stadium on Monday.

It was a difficult turf to play in as the torrential downpour made the pitch slippery. Bengaluru FC could not play their natural free-flowing passing football against the Highlanders.

Speaking about the match, Blues boss Carles Cuadrat said, “It was a special moment. We tried different things in pre-season. We lost Erik (Paartalu) and (Albert) Serran to injury. We knew that the opposition is physical and it was raining. So it would be physically demanding for the players. I am very happy with the players because they have been going for the win from the first minute and this is what we wanted.”

Cuadrat fielded debutant Ashique Kuruniyan in at left-back against NorthEast United. Justifying his decision, the Spaniard said, “Ashique is very fast and a very good runner. He arrived from behind so many times in the first and the second half. I'm very happy with his role in the team.

“There are a lot of players who can play in different positions and Ashique will help us from different positions. I am lucky to have such players.”

Spanish striker Michael Onwu had a disappointing debut for the Blues but his coach defended his poor show, “Onwu was doing a good job, he was playing against two foreign centre backs who are tall and experienced. He has different skills and can bring something different.”

Brazilian Raphael Augusto was highly impressive in his debut and was an absolute livewire on the pitch. Praising the former Chennaiyin player, Cuadrat said, “Augusto was having a good game. He was creating many chances for the wingers and looked dangerous. I am very happy with his performance.”

The Bengaluru gaffer also gave an update on Erik Paartalu’s fitness. He said, “Erik will take some time to recover. It is an ankle injury and we are not sure if he will be ready for FC Goa.”